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What Happens When Firms Patent? New Evidence from U.S. Economic Census Data

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  • Natarajan Balasubramanian

    (Syracuse University)

  • Jagadeesh Sivadasan

    (University of Michigan)

Abstract

We build a new concordance between the NBER Patent Data and U.S. Census microdata and use it to examine what happens when firms patent. We find strong evidence that increases in patent stock are associated with increases in firm size, scope, and skill and capital intensity. We find somewhat weaker evidence that changes in patenting are positively correlated with changes in total factor productivity. We also analyze first-time patentees and find similar effects following initial patent application. Together, these results suggest that patenting is indeed associated with real changes within firms, in particular with growth through increases in scope. © 2011 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Natarajan Balasubramanian & Jagadeesh Sivadasan, 2011. "What Happens When Firms Patent? New Evidence from U.S. Economic Census Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 126-146, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:93:y:2011:i:1:p:126-146
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    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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